Monday, August 31, 2015

September Soybean Meal

I had time today, so I already dropped the September soybean meal at 15 pounds per thousand square feet.  Sure, it's a hair early, but even if it rained right now I'd only have jumped the gun by a bit over 12 hours.

It doesn't look as though this will water in until later this week.

The August feeding darkened the lawn noticeably, but the lack of rain has taken a slight toll.  I need to take photos of the lawn.  All things considered, it looks pretty good.

After this, there's one more organic feeding on October 1st or so, followed by a synthetic feeding for winterization when the grass ceases growth but is still green.  That's usually around Thanksgiving.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Few Good Questions

Dear Reader questions recently include:

How long does Milorganite take to work?  --I've answered this before, but it bears repeating.  It's about three weeks to full effect, assuming decent rainfall and tolerably good soil.  Milorganite does contain some fast nitrogen, so you may certainly notice some impact on your lawn or gardens much faster than that.

However, Milorganite does not generally work quickly, and several applications may be necessary to build the biology and protein levels to a point where sustained, good effects are apparent.

Can you combine Milorganite and blood meal?  --Yes, but be a bit careful.  Milorganite has 40% or so fast nitrogen, which can burn plants when combined with blood meal's very high and very strong levels of fast nitrogen.  I'd probably separate applications of the two, or use the blood meal at very low levels.

What's the comparison of lime vs. Milorganite?  --There's actually no comparison.  Lime is either dolomitic (magnesium plus calcium) or calcitic (calcium only with very little or no magnesium).  Lime raises calcium (and magnesium in the case of dolomite) levels in the soil, usually raising the pH of the soil.

Milorganite is a feeding, although it does contain about 1% calcium as well.  Overall, any pH change of the soil should be minimal to slightly acidic, and it won't appreciably raise calcium levels at normal usage.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Soybean Meal Down

The first "fall" (really, late summer) feeding is down on the lawn--15 pounds per thousand square feet of soybean meal.  I actually did it last week, I just neglected to blog about it.

It takes about three weeks to decay in, so it should be available to the lawn around August 21st or so, given normal rainfall.  At the moment, the soil is somewhat dry, so decay won't be quite that speedy.

The next feeding will be around September 1st, and the last organic feeding for the year on October 1st.  Post that, I'll winterize with a high nitrogen synthetic when the grass stops growing, which will be around Thanksgiving.  However, that date varies very widely depending on the year.

Happy Solar Fall!

Actually, it began on August 5th, but I neglected to blog about it.

Solar fall is the twelve weeks a year of greatest downward change in day lengths.  So for the Northern Hemisphere, it began August 5th and continues through November 5th when we start solar winter (the period of lowest light for 12 weeks).

It's not that the gardens and lawn aren't still in summer mode--they are--it's just that the highest light period for the year has ended.  With proper care, gardens look great into October in this area, and lawns can flourish ten to twelve months a year.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Early August Photos

Traditionally, this is the worst time of year for lawns, but gardens are generally doing well.  This year, rainfall has been common and heavy enough (more than heavy enough) that the lawn is also doing very well.  There are, however, a few minor brown patch infections in it, currently being held at bay but not improving.  I may end up having to treat those with a fungicide, little though I like to do that.

First, the standard lawn shot.  As always, click to embiggen.  Color is characteristically not as dark this time of year as the sun is very high and bright, and that's holding true so far.
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The comparison shot has attained some popularity.  Although not as green as May or September, it's still doing better than most other lawns.  The darker area is in the shade of a pear tree.
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The gardens are doing fantastically well this year, to the point that plants are competing with each other.  Some have had to be removed as they were choked out by others, but there really aren't too many holes.
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Here's another face of the back garden.  The Color Spectacle dahlia isn't in bloom yet as the entire plant broke in an early July thunderstorm, but should be along shortly.
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The Blue Boy dahlia didn't break completely.  So although smaller than average right now, they're starting to bloom.
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